The most-clicked link in “Men are where women were 30 years ago?” comes from this sentence: “In addition, a lot of early socialization about sex and dating is so bad that men and probably women too need to learn how to overcome it.” Usually readers follow more links from the beginning of posts than the ends of post, and the fact that relatively many found this link compelling may tell us something important about what people in general or at least readers of this blog want to know.
I think there’s a level of systematic dishonesty or at least eliding the truth about gender relations and sexuality when many people are growing up, and as a consequence a lot of people hunger for real knowledge. But even as adults that knowledge is still often hidden behind ideology or signaling or wish fulfillment fantasy.
This dishonesty is absolutely systemic, permeating every aspect of our popular consciousness. I can think of maybe a handful of films I’ve seen produced by Hollywood that lack this dishonesty (blue valentine comes to mind).
And it’s actively harmful. The implied advice they give for men (and women) is so divorced from reality that if you follow it you’re actively undermining your own goals. The classic example (you referenced this in an earlier post) of high-investment-effort to woo the girl on the part of the man comes to mind. In real life it’s overwhelmingly construed as creepy. In film and media, no one is creepy. Everyone is beautiful and cool so guys only learn how to avoid creepiness through painful feedback in real life.